The photo of Eva at the top of this page was taken on her 5th birthday, three months before we found out that a 5cm tumor had found its way deep into the right frontal lobe of Eva's brain. About a week after that, we were told that the tumor was diagnosed as PNET – a rare and high-grade malignant brain tumor.
Fortunately, PNET is considered a treatable and in many cases curable tumor. Treatment includes aggressive radiation to the brain and spine, along with chemotherapy. The treatments have nasty life-long side effects. These can include – among other things – challenges to growth, to learning and behavior, and to speech and motor function. As well as hearing loss, infertility and secondary malignancies.
Currently, all PNET tumors are treated the same way, despite recent discoveries that they may be biologically very diverse. Neuro-oncologists now know that treating all PNETs with these nasty cocktails of chemo/radiation likely won't work for some, and likely won't be necessary for others. The problem is, no other treatments currently exist.
On behalf of Eva and all the other sweet kiddos fighting the unimaginable battle that is pediatric cancer, thank you to all St. Baldrick's supporters for your commitment to helping further life-saving research.